The Indian badminton contingent returned home on Tuesday from Germany after testing negative for COVID-19.
The three shuttlers, Lakshya Sen, Ajay Jayaram and Subhankar Dey had earlier been forced to withdraw from the SaarLorLux Open in Saarbrucken, Germany. Defending champion, Sen’s father-cum-coach, DK Sen, had tested positive for the dreaded virus.
Jayaram, Dey and physio Abhishek Wagh had tested negative ahead of the tournament. As they had came in contact with DK Sen, the three shuttlers and the team had been placed in isolation per protocol.
However, Ajay Jayaram took to social media to ask for help from Sports Minister, Kiren Rijiju, SAI and BWF. He mentioned in his post that they weren’t informed about further information and couldn’t contact local authorities.
Sports Minister, Kiren Rijiju, had promptly replied to him. He also declared that SAI would fund the shuttlers’ expenses “for the length of their quarantine in Germany from 30 October to 10 November, on humanitarian grounds“. The withdrawal of these shuttlers brought an end to India’s campaign at the tournament.
Indian badminton contingent returns home
A second round of tests was conducted by German authorities on 1st November. All five members of the team including D K Sen tested negative for the virus and were allowed to return home.
Lakshya Sen, his father and physio reached Bangalore. Ajay Jayaram and Subhankar Dey took a flight from Frankfurt to Delhi. “We reached Bangalore at home this morning around 5 am. We all are fine and healthy,” said DK Sen.
He further added, “We were in quarantine since my first Test came positive. The German official did the second COVID Test for all five of us on November 1 and thankfully the reports came negative, so we immediately returned home.“
DK Sen was asked to stay in quarantine till 6th November. While others were asked to undergo a mandatory quarantine till 9th November before resuming any practice or training for upcoming tournaments.
The world calendar for badminton has severely curtailed this year due to the pandemic and the ensuing seven month lockdown. It opened with Denmark Open earlier this month. The next tournament the badminton players will be eyeing is the Asia leg and World Tour final next January.